Police have renewed their request for the 35-year-old suspect, Abdul Ezedi, to turn himself in as the search for him continues into its third day.
Ezedi, who is from the Newcastle region, has been evading authorities since the attack on Wednesday. He is reported to have sustained severe injuries to the right side of his face.
A woman and her daughters, considered to be at risk, were harmed when an acidic substance was tossed at them in Clapham, located in the southern part of London.
Police reported that the 31-year-old mother, who is believed to have a connection with Ezedi, is currently in the hospital in critical condition and under sedation. Her injuries are considered to be severe and potentially permanent.
The harm sustained by her three and eight-year-old daughters was deemed to be non-life-threatening. The individuals involved, including bystanders and law enforcement personnel who were wounded while attempting to assist, were transported to a hospital for treatment.
On Friday, Jon Savell, the commander of the Metropolitan police, informed reporters that crucial evidence was found during searches conducted in east London and Newcastle on Thursday night.
According to PA Media, two unlabeled containers marked as corrosive were discovered at a location in Newcastle. Investigators are currently conducting tests to determine if they contain the substance used in the assault.
Savell stated that they have a highly skilled team of detectives who are leading the search for Ezedi. They are utilizing standard tactics and have numerous officers actively searching in the field.
We are collaborating closely with colleagues from Transport for London, British Transport Police, and our colleagues in Northumbria Police as well.
“Yesterday evening, authorities executed five search warrants: two in eastern London and three in Newcastle. Valuable evidence has been retrieved, aiding in our investigation.”
According to the police, Ezedi tried to leave the area, but ended up colliding with a parked vehicle before running away on foot. He then took a train from Clapham South station and arrived at King’s Cross station by 8pm.
At 8.42pm, Ezedi was captured on CCTV in a branch of Tesco on Caledonian Road, pictured with a “fairly significant facial injury”, where he bought a bottle of water. He then boarded a southbound Victoria line tube train at 9pm, the last confirmed sighting.
Savell urged Ezedi to seek medical treatment for his severe injuries and turn himself in to authorities.
In 2018, Ezedi was found guilty of sexual assault and exposure. He was granted refugee status in either 2021 or 2022, after being identified as an Afghan national who entered the UK in a truck in 2016.
Hassan, the brother of the suspect, stated to the Sun that he would turn him in if he knew his whereabouts and encouraged him to surrender. “I am uncertain of his current state or location. I saw him briefly last week, but he was not living with me. He was in Newcastle,” he informed the publication.
Several Conservative Members of Parliament have raised concerns about how he was able to receive refugee status, even though he had previously been denied twice and had a criminal record. It is believed that he was permitted to remain in the UK after a priest verified his conversion to Christianity.
The Rt Rev Phillip North, the bishop of Blackburn, hit back against a suggestion by the former immigration minister Robert Jenrick that people making “spurious asylum claims” were being aided by “well-meaning but naive vicars and priests”.
On Friday, North shared with BBC Radio 4’s PM programme, “I have conducted numerous confirmations, approximately 30 or 40, for Iranian men seeking asylum in this diocese. The parish clergy have put in a lot of effort to prepare for these ceremonies and have formed strong relationships with these individuals.”
It is impossible to peer into another person’s innermost thoughts and feelings, to truly understand what lies deep within their heart. However, one can observe their commitment to the church and their active participation in their faith, demonstrated through their confirmation.
He stated, “The church is not responsible for granting asylum, that is the government’s duty. This seems like a blatant effort to shift the responsibility of a flawed asylum system onto the church.”
The Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle reported that they have not found any evidence to indicate that Ezedi has converted to Catholicism, but they are still conducting checks.
“We can confirm that Abdul Shakoor Ezedi visited our project for refugees at the diocesan Justice and Peace center. This venture aims to assist individuals in various circumstances who seek our help.”
We are currently verifying if this person was officially welcomed into the Catholic Church at any of our parishes. Thus far, we have not found any evidence to confirm this. We are also looking into any other forms of assistance that may have been provided to him.
The church will cooperate with the police’s investigations to the best of our ability.